Category Archives: General Planning

5 Things to Consider if You Plan to Retire From and Sell Your Business in 5 Years

Last week, published my article on this this subject. provides advice on a variety of subjects to baby boomers who are nearing retirement.  They asked me to provide some tips to business owners planning for their retirement (and a sale of their company) in five years. While you can see the article for all the details, here are the highlights: 1.  Institutionalize Your Company's Management Team:  Business owners need to move away from the day to day Read More [...]

Hiring an Intermediary for the Sale of Your Business

Last week, Middle Market Executive published the most recent article in my series on the "Inner Workings of a Deal."  In this article, I explored the decision to hire an intermediary. The article looks at three areas: 1.  Should you hire an intermediary?  While plenty of deals get done without an intermediary, business sale transactions are difficult to complete.  There are a variety of pitfalls and stumbling blocks to getting a deal over the finish line, and deals can take huge amounts Read More [...]

Maximizing the Value of Your Deal: Prepare!

Selling a company requires the same level of planning that any other business activity requires.  With advance planning, you'll be able to significantly increase the post-tax value of a transaction.  Surprisingly, many of my clients don't start the planning cycle until it is too late. Last week, Middle Market Executive published the second in my series on the Inner Workings of a Deal, entitled "Preparing for a Deal: What to Expect When You're Expecting." While my full advice can be seen in Read More [...]

Preparing for Business Disputes

This week, my Forbes article will be focusing on disputes among business partners. Business owners often get into trouble when they don't plan for potential disputes with their partners.  At the outset of every new business venture, business relationships tend to be all smiles and cheery attitudes.  But, every relationship can take a bad turn, and business relationships are no different to personal ones. Wise business owners plan for these sorts of events in advance.  What happens if your Read More [...]

New Series on The Inner Workings of a Deal

I am working with Middle Market Executive to publish a new monthly series entitled "The Inner Workings of a Deal: Tips for a Successful Transaction." As the title suggests, I will over the course of nine articles go through the planning and execution of a middle market transaction, and provide ideas on how to think through your goals, and help form expectations for your "deal." This month, the series launches with a discussion of the sorts of "deals" that are common in the middle market, Read More [...]

New Articles

Last week, I had two articles released by leading publications. First, Middle Market Executive published "Increasing Your Company's Value by Streamlining the Black Box." Generally, the main takeaway from the article is that you should review your balance sheet to ensure that you are deriving as much value from it as possible. While it is possible to get value from excess capital present on your balance sheet during a transaction, it is much easier to streamline your balance sheet and extract Read More [...]

Should You Tell Your Staff of Your Plans to Sell?

Whether to include your senior staff in the M&A process is always a tough question. Ultimately, the answer depends on the type of transaction you expect to complete. There are countervailing reasons to include or not to include them.  On the plus side, you'll need help to get through a sale of your company.  There is simply going to be a lot of work to do providing the due diligence information that a buyer is going to want to see prior to a transaction.  Unless you can provide detailed Read More [...]

The Value of Having a Management Team in Place for a Sale

Recent data suggests that ensuring that your company has adequate management in place that will continue downstream of a sale transaction can be worth a significant amount of money to you as a seller. GF Data, one of the firms that aggregates data on private equity transactions in the middle market, recently published an article entitled "Where have all the Sellers Gone?"  As part of their analysis of 2013 data, the firm analyzed 50 transactions where PE firms acquired companies from individual/family Read More [...]

Buyers Are All About Metrics

Last week, Middle Market Executive published an article I wrote entitled Knowing Your Financial Metrics Can Increase Your Company's Value to Buyers (and Make It Easier to Manage Along the Way). While I won't repeat the whole article here, I wanted to draw your attention to a couple of key points. First, while many middle market owners may feel comfortable managing their companies by "gut feel," buyers expect and want more.  Inevitably, buyers (whether financial or strategic) will feel compelled Read More [...]

Consider an S Corp Election

A surprising number of my clients continue to be organized as C corporations, and have not taken advantage of making an S Corp election.  This can be a potentially costly oversight if the company's owners are looking to sell at some point in the future, particularly since in many cases, there are no significant disadvantages to making the S Corp election. The key reason to make an S Corp election is to avoid the double taxation that is inherent in the C Corp structure.  When a C Corp makes money, Read More [...]